[RELEASE CANDIDATES] Forest School Graduates: Emen, Embong, Sif, Sifa, Chanel, Charlie

Meet the next SIX Forest School Graduates, mom-child pairs Emen & Embong, Sif & Sifa, as well as Chanel & Charlie!

12 | 13. Emen & Embong


At the beginning of the century, the BOS Foundation received information from a Palangka Raya resident about an orangutan who needed our help. Together with the Conservation and Natural Resources Authority of Central Kalimantan, our Rescue Team was dispatched to confiscate the orangutan from the local community in Henda Village, Pulang Pisau Regency on January 5, 2000. This young female orangutan was around 4 – 4.5 years old and we named her Emen. Like many of our rescued orangutans, Emen suffered physical effects of her time in captivity and as a result she arrived with us having only one thumb remaining on her right hand.

After 3 years in Forest School and under the love and care of the team at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center, Emen was moved to our pre-release island (Kaja Island) in 2003 and has experienced life “in the wild” for almost 10 years. Emen has now grown into a beautiful female with long dark brown hair. She is quiet and solitary and never shows aggressive or dominant behavior among her friends on the island. However, she does sometimes spend time with her friends Sif, Leonora and Menteng.  In 2009 Emen gave birth to a baby, Embong, and now at the age of 17 years old, weighing 34.3 kg, Emen and her son Embong are finally returning home!


Embong is Emen’s son who was born in Kaja Island on November 30, 2009. This young male orangutan is very active and loves to play with other orangutans. He also loves to explore Kaja Island even though he is only 3 years old. His hair is long, thin with a beautiful red-brownish color. His forehead is wide, which makes him look adorable.

Embong has spent 3 joyous years on the island at Nyaru Menteng, learning first-hand about how to survive in the forest from his mother. Weighing 6.1 kg and very healthy, Embong just has to wait a few more days to return to his rightful home in a rainforest, living and learning more in a real forest with his mother, Emen to guide him.

14 | 15. Sif & Sifa


Confiscated by the Conservation and Natural Resources Authority of Central Kalimantan from a location in Pulang Pisau Regency, Sif arrived at Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center on April 27, 2000 together with cage-mate who we named Thor. The young female orangutan was estimated to be between 5 to 5.5 years old. Sif and Thor has been in captivity for almost their entire lives and both suffered from malnutrition.

Sif thrived at Forest School and graduated with flying colors. She was then placed on Nyaru Menteng’s largest pre-released island, Kaja Island. She is a very clever female orangutan with a knack for finding delicious forest foods, especially rattan shoots, leaves and insects, but also finds new innovative ways to retrieve foods which have fallen into the river. Today, Sif is another fine-looking orangutan with an oval-shaped face, dimple strands, a yellowish curl of hair on her head, slightly black lips and stunning dark red hair. At 18 years old and 35.3 kg, Sif is quiet but can also stand up for herself when needed. She socializes easily with other orangutans and no doubt her intelligence will be put to good use in the wild.


This lovely baby orangutan, Sifa who is 2 years old, is Sif’s daughter. She was born on Kaja Island on November 8, 2010. She is indeed a beautiful little orangutan with long bright brown hair, oval face and excotic dark skin. Sifa is still under her mother’s care, but sometimes she also plays together with her friends, Garu and Terusan.

Despite her young age, Sifa weighs a very healthy 11.1 kg and has been declared fit, well and ready to be released with her mother. Good luck, Sifa!  Living in a real forest will be awesome!

16 | 17. Chanel & Charlie


Chanel was a young female orangutan, aged 3 – 3.5 years old, when she was confiscated from a community near an oil palm plantation in Parenggen, Kotawaringin Timur Regency on March 3, 2003. She was brought to Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center where she has lived for the past nine years. On her arrival she was still very wild and therefore could not join forest school. Instead and at the age of 5 she was introduced to Bangamat Island, which borders Kaja Island.

Chanel is a slim, oval-faced orangutan with dark red hair that adds to her charm. She is now 13 years old and weighs 33.9 kg. She is very independent and prefers to be alone. Reclaiming her true nature as an orangutan, Chanel no longer feels comfortable around humans. She makes kiss-squeak sounds – a sound produced by pursing lips – whenever humans are near, indicating that she feels disturbed. Chanel has a 4 year-old boy, named Charlie. And both Chanel and Charlie will join Nyaru Menteng’s 4th Orangutan Release Activity and will finally return home!


Charlie is Channel’s son. He was born on May 1, 2009 on Kaja Island. Round-faced with yellowish skin and bright red hair, this endearing young lad loves to play with other orangutans, even with adult male orangutans. At age 4, he is a brave orangutan and is not afraid to wander away from his mother. He is also quite smart. He now has started to learn to make nests. And he will get a lot more fun nest-building practice when he soon returns home to the forest with his mother!


One thought on “[RELEASE CANDIDATES] Forest School Graduates: Emen, Embong, Sif, Sifa, Chanel, Charlie

  1. Oh this is a another lovely group of candidates made even more special because all these mums have had babies that have been born free,never having to have suffered the horrors of captivity.They only have happy childhood memories,so lovely.What a beautiful lady Emen is,a quiet solitary Orangutan who is friends with Sif,Leonora & Menteng.Will she be released in the same area as Sif?It would be nice if they can remain close in the wild.Embong is such a handsome boy!Born free in Kaja Island.He sounds very independent,exploring & playing.This will set him in good stead for his new home in the forest.Sif sounds like a very clever Orangutan which is amazing seeing how she had been held captive for so long which must have stunted her ability to act like a wild Orangutan.I suppose the fact that she was malnourished also makes her appreciate food a whole lot more-no wonder she is so good at finding all the delights of the forest.She will love it when she is released!!Sif is such a pretty baby,just two years old,she is going to be as clever as her mum I’m sure.I hope she doesn’t miss her friends too much.Chanel is another beautiful Orangutan & seems more than ready for release,a dislike for humans and a preference for being alone can only be a good thing.I still would like to think she will have some company when she is free.Everyone needs a friend in a big forest!Charlie seems to have developed very quickly into an independent young ape,straying from mums side to play and already starting to make nests-you clever boy Charlie!Good luck to you lucky Orangutans,very soon you will be in your new home!Have fun you lovely lot!:D

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